ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor hopes that the agreement for the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) could be inked within six months after the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in January.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said that Malaysia and Singapore are expected to sign a MOU for the Johor-Singapore SEZ on Jan 11 next year.
“The state government hopes and will work towards ensuring that the agreement could be signed at least six months from that date.
“This is so that the implementation could be done as early as 2025,” he said in the tabling of the state’s 2024 budget at Kota Iskandar here on Thursday (Nov 23).
He added that the SEZ and Special Financial Zone, announced earlier this year, could become catalysts to the state’s development.
During the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat on Oct 30, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong agreed to jointly develop SEZ.
Staying on the topic of economy, Onn Hafiz said that Johor wants the High Speed Rail (HSR) project between Malaysia and Singapore to be revived soon to further stamp the state’s economic position in the region.
“To complete Johor’s ecosystem as the main investment destination in the region, the state government feels that HSR and light rail transit (LRT) could be implemented as soon as possible.
“I hope the Federal Government will give its attention and consider this request,” he added.
Malaysia and Singapore inked bilateral agreements for the 350km-HSR project on Dec 13, 2016.
However, the project, previously estimated at RM110bil, was put on the backburner in September 2018 with both sides agreeing to shelve it until Dec 31, 2020.
On Jan 1 last year, both countries jointly announced the termination of the project as no agreement was reached on the changes proposed by Malaysia and the fact that the agreement had expired on Dec 31, 2020.